Scotch whisky history has been made as the ‘ghost’ distillery of Brora in Sutherland officially began production after being meticulously restored.
The Scotsman reports that the distillery closed in 1983, during a very challenging period for the industry, and the opening of Brora represents the revival of a famous lost name in Scotch.
The distillery is owned by spirits giant Diageo, which said the investment into the restoration represents a major signal of confidence in the growth of the category. The three-year restoration of the distillery is part of a £35 million investment programme by Diageo that will also see another ‘ghost’ distillery, Port Ellen on Islay, brought back to production.
During Brora’s closure, the distillery and its whisky gained legendary status among whisky connoisseurs. In 2017 it was announced that Diageo would restore Brora as a major commitment to Scotland.
The restoration will also safeguard a sustainable future for Brora, with the installation of a biomass boiler fuelled by sustainably sourced wood chips from the north of Scotland.
Ewan Andrew, president, supply chain & procurement, said: “This is a new dawn for Brora – a distillery that is a beautiful new jewel in the crown of our portfolio in Scotland.
“I am particularly proud that Brora will be a carbon-neutral distillery entirely powered by on-site renewable energy. This marks a major milestone on our journey to invest in Scotland, its rural communities and the future of Scotch whisky.”
The 202-year-old Brora still house was taken down and rebuilt stone-by-stone exactly as it was when new in 1819, but now fit for another two centuries of production. The original Brora two classic copper pot stills were refurbished by Diageo’s skilled coppersmiths.
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